As I’m sure many of you can relate, anxiety and stress levels here the last few days have been intense. Since Friday we’ve shut down all interaction with people outside the four walls of our house, but it wasn’t clear until late this afternoon if that would also pertain to Ben and the kids and school in the coming days. Thankfully, the administration made the call to take this week off to see what/how things develop with the COVID-19 spread, and I am beyond grateful to know that we will have seven more days of being just us in our own space.
We are fortunate that both of us will be here and that we have what we need for food and supplies. I know for many that the main concerns of school shutting down are food insecurity and childcare. These are large scale problems and I hope communities will continue to look out for each other however they can while also maintaining as much physical space from each other as possible.
For us, it is a matter of keeping everyone active and engaged (and not breaking each other and the house or us). I’ve already been getting links from Grandma and the some of the kids’ teachers, plus all the shares on social media of institutions and companies offering free services, so I think we’ve actually got more than enough to fill the coming week. And yes, we plan to do that by going the distance in terms of physical distancing to the extreme. (If you get the song lyric reference of this post’s title, kudos my friend; kudos! It has nothing to do with parenting but everything to do with high school and ear worms. Sorry/not sorry.)
We’ve been fairly open, within appropriate limits, of discussing the virus with our kids, so they understand why school (and church and play dates and going anywhere) isn’t happening right now. To make them feel more at ease (my 8yo *hates* to miss school) we did a family planning session at dinner tonight of school-related activities that we can replicate at home. I share this not to say others have to do the same, but simply to give an idea of how we hope to spend our days.
In addition to recess/PE (can’t wait for the snow to melt and the yard to dry out again), we’ve got plans for circle time (for the preK’er), math via Kahn and Prodigy (and Daddy), reading time, yoga (via Cosmic Kids on YouTube), snack time (snacks will be the reason we need to go to the grocery store first), some form of art, science via baking, and yes, some much needed screen time because heaven help me, I struggle to work from home with two kids in the house, so continuing to do that with all five of them here is going to be interesting.
There’s no way we are going to worry about doing all of that every single day, because this is still going to be a challenging time and I don’t think anyone should expect anyone else to be focused on much beyond their health and well-being until we know what we’re up against here. And if the spread slows down or is smaller than we currently fear, then GOOD. That is literally and utterly the whole point.
For my own personal take, I know my anxiety is doing much better now that we can shut down and focus on our family, which includes the crappy task of keeping physically distant from our parents right now, too. I just hope that others will practice the same level of caution as much as they possibly can.